At the entrance to the urbanización where I live is a sign. Some bricks and wrought iron and a hand- painted board with the name of the urbanización painted in green on a white background. The hand that painted the board maintains the sign. This hand belongs to a retired cartoonist from the Evening Standard and the Daily Telegraph.
Most hot afternoons two old geezers rest using the brick-built part of the sign as a makeshift seat. There's no shade, the urbanazación's president felt it would be too costly to water a palm, if one were planted. The two walkers don't mind. They rest their long sticks against the sign and tip bottles of water carelessly over their heads. My one-minute exchange of pleasantries is enough time to watch their hair start to dry. There isn't much of it in any case - and they both wear battered straw hats with an aplomb alien to all but those who can remember a time when everyone wore a hat of some kind.
There are plastic plants around the sign. The two Andalucians shake their heads at these every time they take their ease here. Most likely they walk all the way along the old railway track to the Coin railway station building that's been derelict for over 50 years. They probably remember taking a train along here themselves at a time when few people had a car. Or maybe they rode a horse to work or lived and toiled on one of the farms now covered in northern dreams.
I expect my own northern dream – if not the whole urbanización - stands on a former horse ranch or cereal field. Sometimes I listen to the donkeys at night and in the background I believe I hear that Duquesne Whistle blow.